Aspen, Vail + The Mountains

Restaurants in Aspen, Vail + The Mountains

The popular daily happy hour here has specials like two-for-one appetizers and low-priced beers and house wine. The Quandary’s deck offers views of Maggie Pond and peaks nine and 10, a perfect backdrop for sipping one of the 12 draft beers.

Dine at the stylish Nouveau American restaurant Crave, which stole its chef from Aspen’s venerable Hotel Jerome.

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Famous in Aspen for what owner Jimmy Yeager calls “fierce American food,” Jimmy’s is an unpretentious restaurant serving a menu of comfort fare, seafood, and steaks. The dining room has tables with white linens, golden walls, and dark-wood wingback chairs.

The exclusive Caribou Club is a private, open-only-to-members venue hidden among the neighboring fur and diamond stores.

Situated at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area, Café Diva serves regionally inspired New American fare from acclaimed chef Kate Rench.

The entrée menu is divided into “Things That Swim” and “Things That Don’t,” like grilled Rocky Mountain red trout with potato-bacon-shrimp hash, and grilled New York strip with melted Saint Agur blue cheese.

Drink an açai martini that’s so delicious the bartender has to hide the Brazilian nectar because the staff keeps sneaking off with it.

Sushi and contemporary Asian dishes are served at Kenichi, located in downtown Aspen. The dining room mixes the earth tones of the tables and chairs with blue accent lighting and Asian art. Rock Star booths outfitted with privacy curtains provide an intimate dining option.

Set beside the Yampa River, the Cottonwood Grill serves pan-Asian cuisine amid panoramic views of the water and the surrounding ski slopes.

You may not expect to find Vail's best steaks at this unassuming three-meal-a-day dining room overlooking Gore Creek and the mountain, but there's a strong argument to be made.

Pacifica’s menu focuses on sustainable fish and local, organic ingredients. Hawaiian sea bass with edamame and hearts of palm is a signature dish. Non-seafood offerings include braised pheasant with black truffle risotto, and Thai green coconut curry.

34-year-old wunderkind chef Ryan Hardy, a southwest finalist for the 2008 James Beard Awards, lists his olive oils on the menu like wine, and cooks up his delicacies with produce and meat—for instance a juicy lamb sausage with rapini and mustard—from his own nearby organic farm.